With students across South Australia heading back to School this week, the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) is reminding motorists and pedestrians to be vigilant around schools and high pedestrian traffic areas.
Matt Hanton, Road Safety Communications Manager at MAC, said that the warning follows an increase in young pedestrian casualties across South Australia during the last three months 2017, a result MAC does not want to see repeated.
While the last three months of 2017 were particularly bad, 2017 was also recorded as the worst year of the last five for young pedestrian casualties.
"We all need to remain vigilant in making sure that our young pedestrians are safe when interacting with the road and we do not have a repeat of last year.
"It’s important to remember that the perceptive and cognitive abilities of children are still developing, they are easily distracted and are less competent crossing the road than adults, so as motorists, we need to remain highly aware and not become complacent.
"Speed plays a critical role in reducing trauma and protecting our pedestrians; small increases in travelling speed can result in large increases in impact speed and can be the difference between injury or death.
"Travelling at just 33km/h in a 25km/h speed zone doubles the probability that a pedestrian will suffer a serious or fatal injury when struck and doubles the braking distance of a vehicle travelling at the speed limit with an alert driver, good brakes and on a good dry, sealed level road.
"With increased activity around schools, it is important that we all make smart choices on the road; as a driver, rider, pedestrian or cyclist.
"We all need to lead by example as role models for our children and make choices we would be proud for them to follow," Mr Hanton said.